Minimalist Training (3X/Week) Program Feedback

I’m flirting with dropping to 3X/week training this summer, emphasizing intensity and gaining strength over accruing volume (and also allowing more time for family). I’ve been running 5X/week, BB style, for a while.

I’d love feedback on my tentative plan – what am I overlooking?


  1. Improve posture (namely strengthening mid-back and hamstrings/glutes)
  2. Gain muscle mass
  3. Minimal time in gym
  4. Respect hip limitations, as I’m still recovering from a surgery a few months ago (so that means not going too heavy on legs)

Here’s what I’m working with right now:
Monday (upper)
Wide-grip BB rows – work up to top set of 6 (as I understand it, wide grip is better for posture), then do 2 sets of 8-10
Bench – work up to top set of 6, then do 2 sets of 8-10
Close-grip bench – 3 x 8-12 (focusing more on volume/pump with arms than strength)
Chin-ups – 3 x AMRAP (potentially add weight if I get above 10)

Wednesday (lower)
Glute ham raises – 3 x 8-12
B-stance barbell RDLs – work up to top set of 6, then do 2 sets of 8-10
Leg extensions or leg presses – 3 x 8-12
Sled pushes

Friday (lower)
BB OHP – work up to top set of 6, then do 2 sets of 8-10
Cable rows – 3 x 8-12
(Superset) side lateral raises & rear lateral raises – 3 x 8-12
EZ bar curls – 3 x 8-12

I’ll be doing GPP (basketball, walking, stretching, etc.) on other days. Thanks in advance.

My opinion is that exercise selection matters very little. Its the way you do them and what you do after for the rest of the 23 hours of the day.


I would look at DoggCrapp training. 3x a week and the goal is to increase weight moved or number of reps each workout. There is a good article on the main site that shows how to structure the workouts. I did it for a while and saw good results with workouts lasting 30-40 minutes on the top end.


Primarily meaning nutrition and recovery?

Edit: I agree that this can be overthought; just wanna make sure I maximize bang for buck with the minimal time in gym :slight_smile:


The id do a bit more athletic/strenght program. To maximize the benefit why not become strong? But again - thats just me.

That’s actually exactly what I’m thinking with the 6-rep sets. To me 5-8 is a good strength sweet spot (minimizes risk). You think fewer than 6 is better?

I think - start an actual strenght program. It will be designed from start to end, with all the sets and reps, and you wont have to think about anything.

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Totally agree. If there’s one “mistake” that holds folks back I think we could all point to over and again, it would be thinking.

I’m not being sarcastic.


100% agree. Wasted 13 years of training by thinking for myself. All i had to do was fcking download a free program… i will regret it my whole life.



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Definitely get why this is a common issue, but can’t say that’s it for me…I’ve been following programs to a tee for 10 years. So I’m interested in the idea of designing something customized to my body. But lots of potential for it to go wrong, I know :slight_smile:

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If it interests you, go for it. It’s our own journey anyway, so that’s the right way to go. For me, the draw is to not do any thinking. It takes me back to sports days: it’s kind of freeing to just do what I’m told.

What;s up with that hip?

Dudes around here have improved their posture and their hips by doing direct hip flexor work (standing knee raise, decline situps, hanging leg raises) and getting their quads stronger with goblet squats or front racked kettlebell squats.

45 degree back raises and isometric holds at the top of the back raise are good for glutes and hamstrings and posture. They are less complicated that RDLs so you can focus on getting the tension where you want it, on ass/hams and not low back.

Sometimes rows work to fix guys posture/shoulders, other times they do some little upper back moves like Pull Aparts or Scarecrows or something.

Have you ever done any of this stuff? Most of these moves are pretty low impact and easy to add into your routine without impacting other training. You might spend a few minutes warming up with Corrective moves like this every time you’re in the gym.

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Yeah man, been working with that stuff for years :confused: Unfortunately it seems to be an injury, though, as 2+ years of PT and one surgery haven’t helped. Likely a pelvis issue but TBD – still trying to get to the bottom of it.